27-year-old Aaron Ryan pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.
Concerned animal lover Cheryl Adkins witnessed the abuse while driving in the area of Dueber Avenue SW Tuesday afternoon. She performed a U-turn in the street and screamed for the thug, whom she went to high school with, to stop.
"There was something dragging behind his bike," said Adkins. "I thought it was a black trash bag at first. Then I realized it was a dog...a lifeless dog on the end of the leash."
That is when Ryan stopped, unhooked the leash and peddled away. He was nabbed a short time later.
The dog, Rascal, was taken to the Stark County Humane Society where he was treated for multiple injuries and also where the pup was reunited with his rightful owner.
Ryan, however, remains locked up in the Stark County Jail.
His sister, Tracy Smith, was in court to support her brother, whom she says has mental issues.
"I wasn't there, but my brother has a lot of mental issues that have not been addressed over the past couple of years," said Smith. "I'm here to try to help him, is what I'm doing, so I don't know if he did what he did."
When pressed, Smith couldn't elaborate on just what type of mental issues her brother suffers from.
He's due back in court next week.